This World IBD Day, we're excited to launch our brand-new Mental Wellbeing information which helps you look after your mental wellbeing, understand your risk, recognise common mental health conditions and get the help you need.
We know that Crohn’s and Colitis can have a huge impact on mental health and wellbeing from the stories we hear from our incredible supporters each day. This fantastic new resource sets out to help them, and you.
Topics addressed include:
How Crohn’s and Colitis can affect your emotional wellbeing, as Adam found when he was diagnosed aged 12;
I remember feeling scared, embarrassed and ashamed. I feared telling my friends, I feared going to school. I even feared what my brothers might have thought about me.
Stress, both internal and external, that may impact your symptoms and lead to further concerns such as missing work or being too ill to attend school, like Holly;
I find it quite challenging to go into school most days due to the stress of exams and deadlines for coursework which has made me really unwell.
How to identify anxiety and what may be causing these feelings, such as the judgement experienced by Tom;
It’s hard knowing you're being judged for something you can’t control.
Low mood and depression, which are most common when experiencing a flare, like Adam;
The depression I feel comes from a flare; spending days at home in an attempt to recover and the cabin fever feeling you get from the isolation that sometimes comes with recovery.
The disordered eating that can come with having a bowel that doesn’t work and lead to a difficult relationship with food, like Amy’s;
I was on and off steroids from the age of 7-14 and developed an eating disorder. I had body dysmorphia and thought I looked bigger than I was. I also thought it was easier to not eat rather than eat and be poorly.
Treatments such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), which Ally has recently begun;
I started my CBT therapy over the phone and it couldn’t have come at a better time really. I have found lockdown and having to stay in really triggering of when I was really unwell at university and spent so much time stuck in doors and having no social life. It made my anxiety and low mood much worse.
These issues can be difficult to discuss, and struggling with your mental health can make it hard to get the help you need but we’re here to give information about treatment, suggest tips to improve your mental wellbeing and explain the link between mental and physical health so you can start to understand both your body and mind.
Years later I am very open about my condition, I regularly talk to friends & family about my battles, and even people I've only just met. It's OK to talk and it's OK to be different.
Opening up can be step one.
Try our Talking Toolkit
If you feel you need support with your mental wellbeing you may wish to contact Mind. Please remember, the Samaritans are available 24/7 on 116 123 if you need to talk, and attend your nearest Accident and Emergency if you feel at risk of harm to yourself.
Crohn’s & Colitis Support is a service that offers emotional support where you can talk to us openly and honestly about living with your condition or how you are affected by someone else with the condition. All our volunteers have personal experience of Crohn’s or Colitis. They’re trained to listen and support you. To book your appointment today call our Helpline team: 9am-5pm Monday to Friday on 0300 222 5700.